More than 200 elected officials, Republican and conservative activists, and business leaders have signed a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker requesting the cable network award Carly Fiorina a spot in the upcoming Republican presidential primary debate. Fiorina campaign staff posted the letter on Medium, with a note saying the campaign is "so grateful for their support."
Read the contents of the letter below:
Dear Jeff Zucker,
Carly Fiorina is a top tier candidate in this race. She won the last debate and has been in the top 10 in every poll released this month. To ensure a fair and representative process, your network should seat her alongside the other candidates polling in the top 10. A transparent effort by your network to benefit candidates from and of the political establishment will not be acceptable to conservative grassroots voters. We are the audience for this debate, and we will not tolerate a TV network inappropriately influencing our primary process.
We also call on the Republican National Committee (RNC) to encourage CNN to adjust its debate criteria. Make no mistake, the RNC — which decided how many GOP primary debates there would be and who would host them — holds considerable influence over this process. Its continued silence is tantamount to turning its back on Republican voters who overwhelmingly want to see Carly on the debate stage. Carly Fiorina has already proven that she deserves to be on the main debate stage. It’s time for CNN and the RNC to recognize it as well.
Fiorina has broken into the top 10 in several national and early state polls since her well-received performance in the August 6 Fox News "undercard" debate. But under CNN's current debate criteria, her lower rankings in polls from as far back as May are likely to keep her out of the main debate on September 16.
Update:CNN reports the network is changing its debate criteria:
CNN is amending the criteria for its Republican presidential debate on September 16, possibly opening the door for Carly Fiorina to join the other top-tier candidates on the stage.
The cause: a lack of national public polling following the August 6 debate has so far provided only three new polls to determine the lineup for the Reagan Presidential Debate, according to a CNN statement.
As a result, CNN reevaluated its criteria and decided to add a provision that better reflects the state of the race since the first Republican presidential debate in August, the network announced Tuesday.
Now, any candidate who ranks in the top 10 in polling between August 6 and September 10 will be included.
A new poll of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa finds Donald Trump and Ben Carson tied for the lead at 23 percent support. The Monmouth University poll is the first since July to show Trump not in the sole lead position in Iowa.
Behind Trump and Carson in the poll is Carly Fiorina at 10 percent support. All three top candidates are not officeholders and only one, Fiorina, has ever run for public office before.
A new poll of "usual" Republican primary voters in New Hampshire gives Donald Trump his biggest lead yet in the Granite State. The Public Policy Polling survey found Trump with 35 percent support, a good 26-point advantage over the next closest GOP candidate, Ohio governor John Kasich at 11 percent. Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, has 10 percent support.
Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton in a new poll of "usual" New Hampshire Democratic primary voters. According to Public Policy polling, a Democratic firm, Sanders has 42 percent support to Clinton's 35 percent support.
What’s the matter with Jeb Bush? The establishment favorite and frontrunner in the fundraising primary can’t seem to catch a break. Bush’s performance in the August 6 debate in Cleveland was judged as mediocre at best. He’s dropped to number two in New Hampshire and is tied for sixth place in Iowa.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is nothing if not a campaign veteran. He’s run and won three statewide races since 2010, including the highly contentious recall election in 2012. In fact, since an unsuccessful bid for the state assembly in 1990 when he was just 22, Walker hasn’t lost an election. That’s a great record to have going into a campaign for president, but just a month into his official candidacy, Walker is suffering from a perception that he’s already losing.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has doubled his support in the Democratic presidential primary since June while frontrunner Hillary Clinton has seen her support among primary voters nationally drop by more than 20 points in that same time. That's according to a new poll from Fox News that shows Clinton with 49 percent support to Sanders's 30 percent support.
A majority of Iowa Democrats, 52 percent, still support Clinton, while Sanders has 25 percent. That represents what PPP calls a "decent amount of tightening" in the Democratic race since April, with Clinton's support dropping from 62 percent and Sanders's up from 14 percent.
A new OpinionSavvy/InsiderAdvantage poll shows Donald Trump doing better in the South than he is nationally. In Georgia, The Donald’s 30 percent is nearly double his closest competitor, Jeb Bush (17 percent), Ben Carson’s at 10 percent, and the rest of the field is single digits—or zero, as in the case of southern boy Lindsey Graham.
A new national Quinnipiac University poll finds Donald Trump leading the crowded Republican presidential primary field with 20 percent support, even as 30 percent of registered Republican voters say there is "no way" they would support him for president. The New York reality TV star and real-estate magnate is trailed by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, at 13 percent support, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 10 percent.